The Couch Potato Effect
Most people looking to lose weight and get fit know that exercise is part of the equation. But what if you have no specific weight loss or fitness goals? Adding exercise has numerous positive results, but are there any specific drawbacks caused by a lack of exercise?
Absolutely. A lack of exercise has very specific detrimental effects on your body. If you need any additional reasons to include regular exercise as a part of your life, consider these possible consequences, and you may quickly find yourself changing your mind.
This is probably the most obvious effect caused by a lack of exercise and the one that most people who exercise are actively trying to avoid. If you consume more calories than you burn, you will become fatter. The only way to safely burn calories is through exercise.
Studies have shown repeatedly that a lack of exercise is strongly linked with developing depression. A recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology showed that women who got the most exercise were 20 percent less likely to suffer from depression.
Arthritis tends to create a bit of a vicious cycle when it comes to exercise. Pain in joints leads you to stop exercising, and once you stop exercising, your pain increases. If you have arthritis and don’t exercise, your condition is only going to get worse. If you are worried about pain while exercising, talk to your doctor about safe exercises you can do.
4. Heart Disease
Studies have shown that a lack of exercise can lead to heart disease not just in adults, but even in children as young as age 9. Cardiovascular exercise keeps your heart working properly, possibly increasing your lifespan.
A lack of exercise increases insulin resistance. Over time, this could develop into Type 2 diabetes. Your body requires exercise to use insulin efficiently.
6. Chronic pain
Chronic lower-back pain is one of the most common complaints doctors hear from patients. People who don’t exercise are far more likely to suffer from chronic back and neck pain. A recent study demonstrated that people who exercise even one hour per week can significantly reduce that pain.
7. Lack of energy
Although one of the most common excuses for not exercising is “I’m too tired,” it’s quite possible that you actually feel tired because you aren’t exercising. Regular exercise increases your energy level and provides you with stamina to help you get through the day.
Regular exercise keeps your muscles in working order. If you sit around all day, your body can become severely deconditioned, to the point where it is difficult for you to perform basic tasks like climbing the stairs.